Heroin use in the Twin Cities has dramatically increased in recent years. People who become heroin addicts often begin by taking prescribed painkillers – but when their prescriptions run out they may look for other painkillers in the homes of friends or family members.
Burglars often look for prescription painkillers during break-ins to either use or sell on the street. Removing these unused and expired medications from your home eliminates this possibility. Ridding your home of unused medications also reduces the risk of accidental consumption by children or pets.
In addition, proper disposal of prescription and over-the-counter medications prevents those chemicals from entering our groundwater and drinking water, which can occur when medications are discarded in the garbage or toilet.
In response to this trend, the Eden Prairie Police Department developed the Medication Disposal Program. Sponsored by the Eden Prairie Crime Prevention Fund and OptumRX, this program offers residents free medication disposal bags to dispose of unused medications in the home.
Each bag provides for the disposal of up to 90 pills, 12 ounces of liquid medication or 12 transdermal patches. The bags contain activated carbon which neutralizes the medication and prevents it from contaminating groundwater and drinking water.
How to properly dispose of medication in the disposal bags
- Place medication in the bag
- Fill the bag half-full with warm water
- Wait for 30 seconds
- Seal the bag
- Discard sealed bag
Medication disposal bags are available for pickup Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Police Department in the lower level of the Eden Prairie City Center, located at 8080 Mitchell Road.
Hennepin County also has six drop box locations to safely dispose of large or small quantities of medications. View Hennepin County medicine disposal drop box locations and hours.
If you or someone you know is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction and/or abuse, please contact Hennepin County Chemical Health Services at 612-348-4111.
The Medication Disposal Program was initially launched with funds provided by the Eden Prairie Crime Prevention Fund, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that supports the Police Department by funding various community outreach programs in Eden Prairie. Visit edenprairiecrimepreventionfund.org to learn more.